The first step in developing a business strategy is understanding the markets the business/product participates or wants to participate in. While the Aploris founders were working as management consultants at Bain & Company, the initial stages of many projects included a thorough assessment of the client’s market. While time consuming to execute, accurately defining a market provides a powerful platform to help hypothesize the impact of a strategy.
Across a variety of projects, there were always a handful of key questions that were consistently used to define markets:
- Who are the customers? (age, income, location, education, motivation, pain point)
- Who are the primary competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How large is the market and how fast is it growing? What are the typical financials?
- What disruptions can the market expect over the next 3-5 years?
Aploris develops productivity tools for consultants and other PowerPoint users. Our data visualization plug-in for PowerPoint, Aploris Charts (www.aploris.com), allows users to build Marimekko charts, which can be used to effectively communicate market segments and size.